Plan to attend…Candlelight Vigil—Sept. 28
…Community Walk—Sept. 29
Sarnia, Ontario natives Leah Nielson and Stacy Cattran know all too well the pain and suffering the victims and their families will experience. Four years ago, these sisters watched their father, Bill Coulbeck, lose his painful battle with mesothelioma—a rare form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos fibres.
Many others in Sarnia-Lambton and surrounding area have suffered a similar fate. In fact, this area has the highest rate of mesothelioma in the province. Since the Occupational Health Clinic for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) opened in Sarnia in 1999, more than 1000 workers or family members with asbestos-related diseases, including cancers and asbestosis, have been recorded and diagnosed by the clinic.
On September 29, 2012, Nielson and Cattran will host the second annual “Walk to Remember Victims of Asbestos” in Sarnia, Ontario. They hope to exceed the more than 500 participants who attended last year.
Those attending the walk will celebrate an important recent victory many believe is a direct outcome of the ongoing lobby effort by some of the surviving widows and family members from the Sarnia-Lambton area and a still growing community of concerned citizens.
The new Quebec government announced they will no longer provide loans to support asbestos mining in that province. The Federal government then followed suit saying they will now provide money to Quebec mining communities to support just transition to safer economic development. They also announced they will no longer oppose the listing of chrysotile asbestos as a hazardous substance in international conventions.
"This really does help change the feeling of the walk,” said event organizer Stacy Cattran. Though she and many others still believe an outright ban on asbestos mining, export and use is the only way to end the ongoing global epidemic of suffering and death. The World Health Organization says unequivocally that there is no safe level of exposure to asbestos.
Members of the community and others are also invited to attend a candlelight vigil for victims of asbestos exposure on Friday, September 28. This event is being organized by the Victims of Chemical Valley (VOCV). This community-based group supports workers and others who have contracted a work-related injury or disease.
What: Candlelight Vigil for Victims of Asbestos
When: Friday, September 28, 2012, 6:00 pm
Where: Workers’ Memorial, Centennial Park, Sarnia, Ontario
Who: All welcome
What: Walk to Remember the Victims of Asbestos
When: Saturday, September 29, 2012, 11:00 am
Where: Dow People Place, Centennial Park, Sarnia, Ontario
Who: All welcome
Those who’ve lost a loved one to asbestos or have a friend or loved one struggling with an asbestos-related disease are asked to bring a photograph of the victim that can be added to the asbestos victim’s memorial.
Want to know more about the Walk to Remember Victims of Asbestos?
Want to know about an upcoming Toronto Asbestos symposium scheduled for Sept. 27, 2012?
Want to know more about the recent Quebec and federal government actions to end support for the asbestos mining industry here in Canada?